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John Milton

Gov. John Milton

  • October 7, 1861 - April 1, 1865
  • Democratic
  • April 20, 1807
  • April 1, 1865
  • Georgia
  • Married twice--Susan Amanda Cobb, Caroline Howze; fourteen children
  • Died in office


JOHN MILTON, Florida’s fifth Governor, was born in Jefferson County, Georgia, on April 20, 1807. He attended an academy in Louisville, Georgia, studied law, and established law practices in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. During the Creek War, Milton was commissioned a captain of the Alabama Volunteer Company, and served from 1835 to 1837. He settled in Jackson County, Florida, in 1846 and started a career in politics. He served as a presidential elector in 1848 and was a member of the Florida House of Representatives in 1850. On October 1, 1860, he was elected Governor of Florida, and on October 7, 1861, he was sworn into office. During his tenure, the Civil War had started and Florida had seceded from the Union, joining forces with the Confederate states. Milton endorsed the proposal of issuing paper money that was sponsored by the state’s public lands; he also advocated for Florida’s ability to provide food and salt for the war effort and supported wartime prohibition. Milton was so devoted to an independent Confederacy that he committed suicide on April 1, 1865. In Governor Milton’s last address to the legislature he stated, “death would be preferable to reunion.” Governor John Milton is buried at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Cemetery in Marianna, Florida.


The Florida Historical Society library hold’s Governor Milton’s letter book dated 1861-1863 as well as some miscellaneous correspondence

The Florida Memory Project: A Guide to Florida Governors and the Florida Cabinet

Florida State Archives holds official papers of Governor Milton, including a corresponence and letter book dated 1863-1865

Museum of Florida History: Florida Governors’ Portraits

The Political Graveyard

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Recent Florida Governors